Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Today I came home from work to find these on my counter.

I think my brother picked them from the yard and stuck them in the milk jug that needs to go back to the grocery store. I can't think of who else would have done so, and all the flowers' leaves were in the sink, so it points to a boy. :)

My kitchen is happy with them. I'm pretty sure the flowers are now friends with my rice, pasta, and beans.

They inspired me to go outside and snap a photo of the daffodils still in my yard.

I was too lazy to put my shoes on, so it resulted in this.

It's okay, I'm washable.

Note to self: Find a camera that makes me look tan.
Hope you are enjoying spring as much as I am.

Monday, March 29, 2010

My Exciting Life

I have to confess that my life is much more exciting than your normal life. I have photos from this weekend to prove it.

Friday night we went to a local park to play. It was the first semi-warm evening of Spring, so we had to take full advantage.

After our time at the park, we went to the new pizza place. It's Chicago style. The best part is that they let you draw on the tables. Scott (Raylene's husband) is a freak of nature and can draw an almost perfect map of the U.S. free style, I mean hand.

Sorry about the grain, I had to go flash-less and it was dark.

We played Pictionary. This is the underground railroad. They didn't get figure it out. Look closely, now squint a little and slowly pull the screen away from your face. See it? No? Okay, I'll admit I'm not an artist.

I know what you're thinking right now, Internet. But trust me, my life is exciting, the better photos are coming....

Sunday morning I taught Sunday School. Somewhere my kiddos found this goofy hat. It made me smile.

During church, I told Rachel that I was going to get a tattoo on my foot. She designed this one for me. It's a joke from The Office. 

I guarantee that I will now get 1 comment on this post from a lady named Verna. She is the one who I call Momma. She doesn't approve of me getting tattoos. She doesn't believe in adding excitement to your life via permanent ink. :) 

This is Cash and me. He is really good at laying around and looking adorable.

Confession: My life is normal and not nearly as exciting as you would think a redhead's life would be. I love it, but it won't be making magazines anytime soon. That's probably a good thing. Maybe when I get that tattoo....

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Clean Up, Clean Up, Everybody, Everywhere...

Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner

This week Kelly is chatting about cleaning. 

Let me tell you, I loathe laundry; I have a healthy disdain for dishes, and making my bed makes me cringe. Cleaning my house, however, is not too bad. I don't mind dusting, vacuuming, windexing, scrubbing, and any other -ing word pertaining to the topic. I think it's because laundry, dishes and the bed are never really complete unless, of course, you do your laundry naked. I'm neither here nor there about that. All of those things are messed up again within hours, whereas I can enjoy my clean house for a couple days. (Mind you, I don't have children, but I do have a huge dog that is banned to the backyard during cleaning.)

I'm starting to come into some sort of cleaning schedule. I try to keep my house picked up and relatively neat, (although that doesn't always happen) and I deep clean on Thursdays or Fridays right after work. I am no where near being an expert cleaner. There are a lot of times that I just push dirt around, but I have picked up a few tricks.

1. Music
The first thing I do when I clean is crank up my iTunes. Music helps the brain function, so I use it to my advantage. I thought about making a playlist for my blog with cleaning type songs such as "Car Wash", "One Way, Or Another" or "Whistle While You Work," but I thought you all might think I had too much time on my hands.

2. Microfiber cloths
These things are AMAZING!!! Plus, they are excellent for the environment. I hardly use paper towels since I bought these. Plus, they can be super cute, and the cuter the cloth, the better it cleans.

My dad showed me a trick with the microfiber cloths the other day. If you have a Swiffer, just wet a microfiber cloth and wrap it around the head of the Swiffer. Bam! You have a dust mop. It works better than the Swiffer Wet Mop things and costs way less!

3. Socks
I save my mismatched socks to use as a dust rag. I put them on my hand like a sock puppet, and go to town. I think it makes my dusting faster, but I could be wrong.

4. Clean Rags
I used to try to use 1 rag to clean most of my house, but now I go through about 5. It's amazing what a difference a clean rag makes. In fact, I've come up with a way to fold the cloth when I'm mopping my bathroom floor so that I get 9 clean sides. Every 2 tiles I refold my rag, so it's as if I have a new clean one.

5. Window Corners
The other day my grandma and I were sitting at QuikTrip, and she pointed out that the lady cleaning the front door was missing the corners. She said, "Look at that, she is just cleaning the middle. People don't know how to clean anymore, they all miss the corners." When I got home, I looked in the corners of my mirrors, and lo and behold they were dirtier than the rest of the mirror. So now I try to hit the corners.

I am excited to see other people's tips because Heaven knows, I need all the cleaning help I can get!


Monday, March 22, 2010

Say It Ain't Sew

I got home from work today to find my grandma at my sewing machine in my kitchen. Not what I was expecting, but not necessarily surprising either. Why is my sewing machine in my kitchen? Because my mud room is overtaken with decor accessories and laundry that needs to be done, of course. Why is my grandma sewing? Because they don't trust me with my own sewing machine. That's probably not the real answer. I think she was the only one around who knew how to sew, and they are just as anxious as I am to get my house finished.

I'm in the middle of finishing my house decor. Every member of my family plus other people have been by my house the past few days. We're not just talking brothers and parents, they are there on a daily basis. When I say my entire family, it means my three aunts, Grandma, Gpa, Uncles, a large number of cousins and a handful of my Grandma's friends. It's a team effort. We're nearly done, but the final touch is my bedroom curtains. 

A few months back, before I even had a house, my mom bought a HUGE bolt of this fabric at Cargo Largo for $15. It's at least 60 yards. Now it's curtains thanks to my grandma and the decor genius of her friend, Paulette.

It's just the tropical touch my bedroom needs.
(My bedroom does not in reality have this weird yellowish tint.)

Hopefully I can now get rid of the pillowcase shade!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

#9 - Check

Doesn't it feel good to cross things off lists? Confession: Sometimes when I have to-do lists, I write down something I've already completed just so I can cross it off.

Today I get to officially cross #9 off my 50 in 500 list. I've blogged everyday for a month. I'll continue to blog more often than I used to, but don't be surprised it I take a day off.

8 things I learned about blogging daily:
1. Sometimes I have to get creative to make my life sound more interesting.
2. When in doubt, just post pictures of your adorable nephew.
3. I begin to see everything in the world as a possible blog topic. Ice Storm = Blog Topic, Crazy Gpa = Blog Topic, Kitchen Sink = Blog Topic...the possibilities are endless!!
4. The more I blog, the cuter I want my blog to be.
5. The more I mess with html, the more messed up my blog can become.
6. It would be easier to set up posts in advance, but I never did that. That's the wimpy way out.
7. I check my e-mail more often to see if there are any new blog comments.
8. Blog rhymes with fog. (I knew this before the daily blogging adventure, but thought it should be pointed out.)

Next item on the list: #15 work out 4x per week for a month. Why do I make these month commitments? I'm ridiculous!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thankful Thursday

  • The Sun - Today we got to enjoy a pretty spring day. It was 65 degrees, sunny, and perfect. Kody and I walked to my grandparents, so he was one happy dog.
  • Garage Sales - I'm in the middle of finishing decorating my house, so I've been using spring break to hit up some early spring sales. I'll post pictures soon!
  • Blogs - This one sounds weird, but I've enjoyed getting ideas from blogs. I also just redesigned my blog, and there were so many helpful blogs about design that it really wasn't all that difficult!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hey, Hey, We're the Monkeys....Bread That Is

Last night I whipped up a batch of monkey bread and decided the recipe needed to be shared with the world. This is one of the easiest recipes ever, and it is sooooo yummy!!! This was actually the first time I've baked it, but it turned out perfect! Like I said, super easy! And apparently when it comes to describing recipes, I use a lot of exclamation marks!

4 cans of biscuits - I used the cheap grocery store brand
Cinnamon-Sugar Mixture
2 sticks of butter
1 cup of brown sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

1. Tear the biscuits into pieces (thirds or quarters) and roll in cinnamon-sugar.

2. Throw each piece into greased pan. Usually people use bunt pans (which makes me think of My Big Fat Greek Wedding), but I cut the recipe in half and just used a small loaf pan.
*Don't push the pieces down into the pan, you're going to want the filling to be able to seep in between the biscuits in a few steps, but there does need to be room for the biscuits to rise.

3. Melt butter (I used the microwave) then mix in brown sugar. Put back in microwave for a minute until you have a syrup consistency.

4. Pour butter and brown sugar mixture over biscuits.
*Shake the pan a little so the mixture gets in between the biscuits. This is my own personal addition to this recipe.

5. Throw in the oven for 20-30 minutes.
*Sorry I'm not precise, but each oven is different. I baked mine for 32 minutes last night. My oven slower than molasses in a snow storm.

6. Admire the pretty loaf of Monkey Bread ... once it is golden brown.

I flipped mine onto a plate so the top became the bottom, then poured the extra butter sauce over the loaf. I don't have a photo of that, but I have this one.

See, so easy a caveman could do it!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Dating Scale

My friend Holly and I made this video for Facebook a few months ago. I was thinking about it today and decided it was blog worthy. Sorry about the audio, it sounds funny in a few places, and if you're watching it on the blog, Holly is cut off a bit. I'm working on my blog design, so things are a bit wacky around here. :)

**Edit** Holly is no longer cut off, and my blog design is finally finished! Let me know what you think!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Blah, Blah, Blog

This is the last week of my every day posting. I'm surprised that it wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. I guess the more you blog the more you have to blog about! Although don't get too excited, I really have nothing to post today. Come back tomorrow, there will be something better then. :)

Until then, I've found a mew site that I love. It's called Quote Book, and it is lovely.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Daylight Savings Time

I know I just did a post about Gpa last Sunday, but we had a family get together last week, and I got some new material. I should just start calling it Sundays with Gpa.

Last night we celebrated my cousins' 17th and 19th birthdays. I was sitting in the dining room with my aunts, mom, and Gma. Here's the thing about Gma. She is amazing at finding bargains at garage sales. She can make cinnamon rolls and chocolate gravy that will make you 2 sizes bigger just looking at them, but are totally worth it. She can clean circles around anyone I know, and she likes to tell stories about Gpa. The thing is there are just so many hilarious stories about him that it's a hard habit to break.

Well, there we were discussing Daylight Savings Time (DST) and how my dad is on top of getting the clocks set. In fact he did it before leaving the house last night. That's when Gma pipes up about Grandpa. Apparently when DST first started, Gpa was convinced that you had to wake up at 2 am to fix the clocks. So he would set his alarm for 2 o'clock in the morning to go around and fix the clocks. (Remember how last post I told you about all the clocks they have? It probably took him an hour to fix all the clocks around their place!) I nearly fell out of my chair laughing when Gma was telling me the story. She said after a couple years she finally told him that he could just set the clocks before he went to bed. 

I walked into the living room to confirm this story with Gpa. He said it was true, he really did wake up at 2 am to fix clocks. That's when my cool, hip, amazing, and wonderful Aunt Dawn told me about the conversation they were having where Gpa was surprised Avatar didn't win anything in the Olympics this year. Weren't we all? 

Saturday, March 13, 2010


My name is Jennifer Collier and I am a recovering purse addict. It has been 7 months since my last purse purchase. I used to buy at least 1 purse per month, but with the help of a new house which takes all my extra money and lack of time to shop, I am overcoming that addiction. Then I got on Etsy and accidentally clicked on Bags and Purses. Trust me, it was a total accident, I was clicking on Art, but hit Bags & Purses instead. I think my inner shopaholic had something to do with it. I'm having a hard time passing these up.

Who knew there were so many cute handmade purses? 

Friday, March 12, 2010

Favorite Charities

Show Us Your Life with Kelly's Korner

This week Kelly's Show Us Your Life is about charities. :)

When I was in college I was president of Gamma Alpha Lambda, (GAL) a Christian Sorority in its second year of life. It now has 4 chapters and is in its 7th year of existence. I was lucky enough that God used me to help move the organization from a Missouri State thing to a national thing. GAL's philanthropy was The Potter's House, which we all nicknamed PoHo.

My first year of college I learned about The Potter's House. A not-for-profit coffee shop just across the street from campus which was also a covert ministry to college students through the Nazarene church. Many students went there initially because their drinks were about half the price of Starbucks. Many students continued going there because it of the loving atmosphere and incredible people. My friend, Hal, used to describe it like Cheers, where everybody knows your name, and they're always glad you came.

About a month into college I began volunteering as a barista at PoHo. I learned how to whip up lattes, teas, hot chocolate, and any other coffee or hot drink you could concoct. My favorite part was getting to talk to the students as they waited for their order. We would talk about our classes, home, sports, or their dating life. They would share their joys, struggles and concerns, then go on their way. Many students came in just to say hi to Berna and Steve, who started The Potter's House about 10 years ago.

I can not tell you how many girls would come in each evening needing Berna for some sort of advice. She was our college mom. My junior and senior year of college I was lucky enough to be in one of the Bible studies she led in the PoHo basement. We worked through so many insecurities, doubts, and fears and learned who we were in God's eyes instead of the eyes of the world. There were tears, laughter, but most of all there was love. The Potter's House was our refuge, our college home.

I spent many evenings there just hanging out with my roomie, Kathleen, or my BFFs, the B4 girls. (We were nicknamed B4 because there were 4 of us who met for breakfast "b4" class.) Every Saturday I woke up at 8:30 to go clean the house top to bottom with my sorority sisters. A lot of our chapter events centered around the PoHo. It is where I held my exec meetings and our bid night ceremonies. So many of my memories center around Potter's House.

I'm so grateful that there are people in the world willing to give. That there are people willing to risk it all just to show kindness to others. So often I find myself being incredibly selfish and unwilling to help, but that gets me no where. It is my hope that whenever I see anyone in need, or lonely, or hurting that I will bestow the same love on them that was shown me at PoHo. They didn't have to be there for us, but they were, and for that I will be forever grateful.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thankful Thursday

  • Spring Break - I know a lot of you think that teacher's have a cushy schedule, but let me tell you, I NEED spring break right about now. The kids are crazy which makes me crazy. We need a break from each other. Give me a week so I can re-discover my love for them and have normal adult interaction, and I promise it will be okay.
  • My Friends - So often I take them for granted, but I'm the one thinking they take me for granted. I'm sadly mistaken.
  • My Mom - She has been helping me organize my kitchen and even came over tonight to dice tomatoes and onions for me. I'm horrible at dicing onions, but she has this magical trick that makes them perfect.
  • My Blog Readers - I think you all are the best, and I truly appreciate your input, compliments, and help in the sour cream department. -- see previous post. :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

This and That

Today was a busy day, teaching, meeting, detention duty, cheer meeting, letting my brother's dogs out in the pouring rain with my high heels sinking in the mud, grocery shopping, grocery unloading, quesadilla cooking, kitchen cleaning, picking up the house and now here I am. It was also a very depressing day because Mizzou lost to Nebraska. Internet, I don't want to talk about it, so stop asking me. It was a good day though because there are thunderstorms with lightning. I love lightning. 

I'm working on a new blog look. I'm not sure how I feel about it, but I like that I've designed it and learned a thing or two about html in the process. 

Quick question blog readers, do you know of a good light sour cream? I tried one tonight and it was so gross. I wiped it off my quesadilla and got out the full fat version. Then I was fine. Maybe we aren't meant to take the fat out of everything. Sour cream is meant to have fat, so I should just accept it the way it is instead of trying to change it. Oh sour cream, don't go changing to try and please me, you never let me down before (until I tried your light counterpart).

I really don't have much to post, but I'm trying to post everyday. Don't worry, I have better posts up my sleeves, just not enough time to pull them off tonight.

Every post is better with a photo, so here is one that I think will make you smile. This is my Uncle Boyd's horse and goat. They are BFFs. Someday I will post the video of the goat climbing onto the horse's back.

He'll stand there for quite sometime and the horse just takes it. It's pretty cute.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

The Kitchen Episode 7

I'm trying to write this while I watch LOST. It's not going too well, so I have a feeling this post is going to be mainly photos.

My kitchen is finished, minus accessories. Dad's job is done, now I've got to call on Momma's help. I'm incredibly indecisive, so I need someone who can just tell me what should be where. Anyway, enough about me, let's talk about my kitchen instead. :)

Quick refresher: 6 months ago it looked like this. 

 Thankfully there is no more yellow. Not that I don't like yellow. It's just that once I read that couples tend to fight more in a yellow kitchen, and I was stressed out that my future husband and I might say things we don't intend to just because of my yellow kitchen, which in the end would be all my fault. Internet, stop making fun of me for worrying about fighting with a guy I've never even met. You'd worry, too if you were in my shoes.

Now it looks like this.

And one more crooked before and after.

I'm in love with my kitchen. It's just like I dreamed. And the best part is that my total kitchen make-over only cost me $1,200 thanks to Craigslist and my dad's ingenuity with the bowling alley countertops. I'll do one final episode once all the little things land in the right place. In case you need the recap, Episode 6 can lead you to all the previous Kitchen Updates.


Monday, March 08, 2010

Coffee, Anyone?

One of my favorite episodes of Seinfeld is when Kramer made a coffee table book with photos of coffee tables (plus little legs to make it look like a coffee table). Coffee tables can be so boring, but they are also an awesome place to display some creativity.  I think both the boring and creative coffee tables have their places, and it's easy to jazz a table up with some accessories. My table is too small for my living room.

I've had it since college. It used to be a computer desk, but we just sawed off the legs to make it a coffee table. I needed a coffee table, but I didn't need a computer desk.

I'm ready for something different. I've always loved this image from Pottery Barn.

It's just a stack of books. My fear is that there would be a lot of dust and that it would get knocked over, so I doubt I go with this option.

I saw this one on Design Milk a while back.

I think it is so artfully designed.

I've also always liked round coffee tables.

I'm also intrigued by coffee tables made of industrial carts.

This one is a re-make from Pottery Barn.

And this is Restoration Hardware's take on it.

So many options for such an indecisive girl! Okay, internet, which way should I go? Do you have more inspiration for me?